Hey FinTech Fanatic!
The UK's National Audit Office (NAO) has criticized the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for slow regulatory responses and poor communication with the government. The NAO acknowledges improvements in the FCA, overseeing 50,000 UK companies, but highlights significant delays in action, especially in the cryptocurrency sector.
The report also points out staff shortages and complex public reporting by the FCA. The NAO recommends the FCA to develop a clearer performance data plan by autumn 2024 and improve its operational processes and strategic workforce planning. The FCA has committed to implementing these recommendations.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in the U.S. has issued guidance to banks, advising them to offer buy now, pay later (BNPL) loans responsibly.
The OCC emphasizes that national banks and federal savings associations should ensure these loans have proper underwriting, fair repayment terms, appropriate pricing, and safeguards to prevent negative customer outcomes. It also stresses the importance of clear and conspicuous marketing and disclosures.
The guidance comes amidst the rising popularity of BNPL services like Klarna and Affirm and growing concerns over consumer debt accumulation, especially as the holiday season nears.
The guidance issued by the OCC, though specifically for nationally chartered banks, serves as an important reference for other institutions offering "pay in 4"-style financing. It outlines key issues that are likely to be of interest to other financial regulators, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in their oversight of buy now, pay later (BNPL) services.
Meanwhile. in Brazil The Central Bank has announced guidelines for the 'Automatic PIX', set to launch in October 2024, as an extension of the existing PIX payment system.
Designed for recurring payments, it enables users to automate payments for regular expenses like utility bills, school fees, and subscriptions, without the need for traditional direct debit agreements. It's mandatory for all PIX system participants to offer this service, aiming for widespread adoption.
This innovation simplifies bill payments and reduces costs, eliminating the need for multiple contracts with varying fees and terms. With Automatic PIX, businesses and governments can streamline payments with a single standardized contract.
Since its introduction, PIX has gained significant traction in Brazil, with 35% of transactions in the country now made through the system, and it boasts nearly 144 million individual users and 13.3 million business users.
Pix has become one of Brazil's most popular payment methods. However, Pix isn't just being used for instant money transfers... Check out my latest blog post "Six Bizarre Ways Pix is Being Used That Will Surprise You" to see what I mean 🤣
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Is FinTech Eating the 🏦 Bank’s Lunch? This paper explores the impact of rising FinTech presence on traditional financial institutions. Discover more by reading the full report here
Cristiano Ronaldo faces a $1bn lawsuit over promoting NFTs of himself. Here is what you need to know:
🇨🇴 Minka has achieved a remarkable milestone by processing 100 million real-time transactions in Colombia this year. This achievement underlines a significant growth of 251% in real-time transactions compared to the previous year, marking a new era of digital financial services in the country.
🇺🇸 Max Levchin, Affirm CEO: New Affirm card, "without the pitfalls associated with traditional credit cards." The CEO highlights Affirm's innovative payment card, serving as both a debit and loan option for 'buy now, pay later.' He emphasizes that the Affirm card is not a credit card complement but a replacement.
🇳🇬 Kippa transfers agency banking product KippaPay to Bloc. The Nigerian fintech has transferred the operations of KippaPay, an agency banking product it shut down in October, to Bloc, a Nigerian fintech preparing to launch banking services. KippaPay has now been integrated into GPay, a payment subsidiary Bloc owns.
🇺🇸 Citcon and Alipay Plus enable cross-border mobile payments in the US. This collaboration signifies progress in broadening the reach of Citcon and Alipay Plus services within the US market, providing international visitors with a convenient and secure means to make payments using their native e-wallets.
Afterpay’s bad debts climb, just like its costs. Despite generating $2B in revenue from $43B in transactions, Afterpay reported a net loss of $615 million. The period, complicated by Block acquiring Afterpay in late 2021, revealed a surge in revenue but also in costs.
🇳🇬 Paystack has received a switching and processing licence from the country’s banking regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). As one of only 16 fintech startups licenced under this category, Paystack has now been working as a payment switch in Nigeria.
🇺🇸 Shares in PayPal fell on Thursday after Amazon said it was removing Venmo as a payment option starting next month. The company said that customers will still be able to "use nearly a dozen other payment options," to pay for their orders, according to Amazon.
🇩🇪 Airbnb launched “Book Now Pay Later” in partnership with Klarna in Germany. Initially introduced in the USA as part of Airbnb’s 2023 Summer Update, the 'Pay Later' option with Klarna now enables guests in Germany to spread their next stay's cost over three interest-free installments across two months.
DIGITAL BANKING NEWS
🇧🇷 Cat Swetel, director of engineering at Nubank, shares how the fourth-largest financial institution in Brazil grew rapidly on Amazon Web Services (AWS), from a small startup to a company with 90 million customers👇
🇳🇱 Bunq’s Ali Niknam receives the prestigious ‘Businessman of the Year’ award, recognising his contributions to the business world. The annual award celebrates Dutch entrepreneurship. Know more
In other news, the Dutch neobank is putting pressure on Irish banks with an instant access savings rate of 2.46%. Bunq has been aggressively chasing market share in Ireland 🇮🇪 in recent months and is increasingly focused on the €150 billion household savings on deposit with Irish banks.
Revolut’s Latest News Updates. Max Karpis revealed interesting updates. Ready to explore the latest developments? Let’s take a look
Self-Custody Bitcoin Wallet Bitkey, built by Block, Inc., launches globally, widening access to true financial ownership. This launch is widening access to self-custody and empowering people around the world to truly own and manage their bitcoin easily and safely.
🇺🇸 JPMorgan’s Dimon tells Senate he would shut down the crypto industry. This is not the first time Dimon has made such remarks, as he has been a vocal critic of cryptocurrencies for some time, having referred to digital currencies as “Ponzi schemes” and a “fraud,” according to a report.
🇺🇸 Grayscale CEO fires back at Jamie Dimon’s desire to ‘close down’ crypto. He emphasized that traditional financial institutions must adapt to the changing landscape and incorporate new technologies such as cryptocurrencies. Read on
DONEDEAL FUNDING NEWS
🇿🇦 Tyme Group − comprising TymeBank and GoTyme − is set to close a new round of funding. This emerged in an investment update by African Rainbow Capital (ARC). According to ARC, Tyme boasts an annual revenue run rate exceeding R1.8 billion for TymeBank and R100 million for GoTyme.
🇬🇧 Financial data enrichment services startup Triple raises $7.5M in Seed round. The London-based startup intends to use the investment to continue the development of its fintech infrastructure services. Read more
🇦🇪 UAE telecoms and technology company e& has completed the acquisition of a 50.03 per cent stake in Careem Technologies, commonly known as Careem Everything App, for $400 million. The capital will be invested to “grow the business,” e& said in a statementy to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
🇬🇧 Coconut co-founder Adam Goodall joins Funding Circle as vice president of product. Goodall will focus on enhancing the company’s multi-product platform to serve more customers' needs. Read more
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